Myanmar Artist Captures Frustration, Isolation of COVID-19 Lockdown on Canvas

By Wei Yan Aung 12 June 2020

YANGON—Confined to his home for the past few months due to the COVID-19 restrictions, Myanmar artist Ko Sid has poured his feelings of captivity and alienation onto canvas.

He has compiled his paintings of silent houses and apartments into a new series he calls “Covisim.”

A painting from Ko Sid’s series ‘Covisim’ / photo supplied

“[The paintings express] feelings of being confined, feelings of not being able to go outside. You look out from inside your home, but there’s no one there. I’ve tried to capture these scenes,” said Ko Sid, a painter, art collector, curator and tattoo artist.

Over the past two months, he has completed 25 abstract paintings on the theme of life during COVID-19. Dominated by warm colors and thick brush strokes, the paintings feature a variety of different perspectives, arousing feelings of suffocation and terror in the viewer.

A painting from Ko Sid’s series ‘Covisim’ / photo supplied

Offering some relief, however, are the apartments’ doors of various sizes and shapes, which according to the artist represent the hopes of people who have been told to stay at home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

A painting from Ko Sid’s series ‘Covisim’ / photo supplied

“These paintings will be particularly appreciated by city dwellers,” Ko Sid said. Though no one knows for sure when the COVID-19 restrictions will end, the “Covisim” art exhibition has been scheduled for September at the Lokanat Art Gallery on Yangon’s Pansodan Street. The paintings, which measure 3 feet square, will be available for purchase for around US$1,000 (1.4 million kyats) each.

A painting from Ko Sid’s series ‘Covisim’ / photo supplied

Ko Sid has participated in around 20 group art exhibitions in and outside Myanmar. He organized his first solo art exhibition in 2017.

Painter Ko Sid’s son works on a canvas for their future exhibition, to be titled ‘Father and Son’. / photo supplied

The artist is already planning an exhibition to follow “Covisim”. A collaboration with his 9-year-old son, the series, to be titled “Father and Son”, will depict themes of fatherly love and childhood fantasy.

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